Resurrection Joy (John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12)

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.  He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?”  Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!”  She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!”  (which means Teacher).  Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.'”  Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.  John 20:1-18

Facing the “Tombs” of Our Lives

When we face life’s losses, disappointments, heart-breaks, and failures, Jesus shares those with us. He also shares new life and new hope with us–resurrection.  It isn’t a one-time thing, but the dawning of a new day, and new life.  Jesus is risen!

No matter what things look like now, this Easter morning says, “Wait. We are part  of something greater than ourselves, and our lives are lived in a new age of hope.”

“Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ risen.”

–Mother Teresa

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Easter Crown

Crowns have always been the sign of authority and Kingships. Charlemagne, whom historians say should deserve to be called “great” above all others, wore an octagonal crown. Each of the eight sides was a plaque of gold, and each plaque was studded with emeralds, sapphires, and pearls. The cost was the price of a king’s ransom.

Richard the Lion Heart had a crown so heavy that two earls had to stand, one on either side, to hold his head. The crown that Queen Elizabeth wore is worth over $20 million. Edward II once owned nine crowns, something of a record. Put them all together, from all of Europe and from the archives of the East, all of them are but trinkets compared to Christ’s crown.

Revelation 19 says he had many diadems (crowns).  He wears a crown of righteousness. He wears a crown of glory. He wears a crown of life. He wears a crown of peace and power. Among those crowns, one outshines the rest. It was not formed by the skilled fingers of a silversmith nor created by the genius of a craftsman. It was put together hurriedly by the rough hands of Roman soldiers. It was not placed on its wearer’s head in pomp and ceremony but in the hollow mockery of ridicule and blasphemy. It is a crown of thorns.

The amazing thing is that it belonged to me–and it belonged to you! We deserved to wear that crown. We deserved to feel the thrust of the thorns. We deserved to feel the warm trickle of blood on our brow. We deserved the pain. He took our crown of thorns–but without compensation.  He offers to us, instead, his crown of life, the crown that will never fade away.

Thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I Corinthians 15:57

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Easter Breakfast Sunday, April 21

The men of the church will sponsor the annual Easter breakfast for members and friends of St. John’s from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning, April 21.  There will be no adult Sunday School classes that morning.

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Easter Contributions

No Easter flowers will be offered through the church this year.  However, if you choose to bring in tulips to grace the altar area, please feel free to do so.  Flowers should be brought to the church before April 20.

Monetary donations may be made to the St. John’s Memorial Fund or to Church World Service blanket fund.  Blankets are $10.00 each.  You may designate the donation on the memo line of your check and on your offering envelope.

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More Than You Can Imagine…

We sometimes think that “imagination” means something escapist or illusory. Yet, imagination is not something unreal or fake.  It is essential to God’s hope for creation.  “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20-21).  God imagines a world where all are safe, all are loved, and all are fed.

When we use our imaginations in the way that God does, we can begin to envision–and work for! –a world…

where no child goes unfed, un-housed, or unloved; where no one ever fears abuse or           violence; where clean water is not a dream but a reality for all; where small farmers do their work with dignity and are paid a fair wage for their labors; where agricultural practices enrich and renew the land rather than deplete; where survivors of natural disasters have the resources they need, now and for years to come; where vulnerable immigrants are welcomed in Christ’s name.

Can you imagine these things?  Through your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing what we can imagine becomes ever more a reality for more and more people.

(quoted from the brochure, More than we can imagine)

 

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Shoes That Grow

There are many children in the third-world, economically disadvantaged areas that have no shoes.  Through a project called “Shoes That Grow,” St. John’s would like to help children have shoes–perhaps for the first time ever!  The shoes are adjustable and “grow” as the child grows.  A sample of the shoes can be found on the table at the front of the sanctuary.

There are boxes for you to take to hold your loose change from each day, or you can place money in the container provided.  Each pair of shows costs $15.00.  How many pairs of shoes can we purchase?  Make this monetary donation the “thing” you have given up for Lent.  how about one candy bar a day, or a soda, or instead of eating out one evening, that money is donated to the shoe fund?  Let us all share in this project for Lent.

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This Week at St. John’s UCC

Centering Words for April 21:   Risen Christ, rise in our hearts with faith.Raise our voices in praise, and lift our eyes to the hills of hope. Reveal t us your presence. Raise us up to new life, even as you were risen, that we may proclaim to the world:  “Christ is risen!  Christ is risen indeed!”

Sunday, April 21–Happy Easter!  Easter breakfast 9 to 10 a.m.; 

Worship 10:30 a.m. Pastor Carol’s meditation is titled “YES!” based on Scriptures: John 20:1-18 and Psalm 118:14-29. The choir will sing “Good Christians All, Rejoice and Sing!” and “Joy Dawned Again on Easter Day”.  The celebration of Holy Communion will take place as part of the Easter service.  Come and join us in praising the living God!

Tuesday, April 23–Ladies meet at Arby’s, 9 a.m.; TOPS, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, April 24–Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.; Choir, 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 28–Consistory meets after worship; the last Sunday for the choir to sing; Spring Fling concert at Bluffton University, 2:30 p.m.

“If Easter says anything to us today, it says this:  You can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets, and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!”  (Clarence W. Hall)

Christ Is Risen!  Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

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Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

If you would like to volunteer for helping serve at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Lima on Tuesday,  May 28, 2019,  please sign up on the bulletin board in the sanctuary.  Helpers are always welcome.

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Facebook Page

You are missing out on a super way to advertise our church if you are not sharing with many of your other Facebook friends St. John’s Facebook page.  There are many interesting articles posted every day.  “Friend” all of your friends and ask them to “Like” the St. John’s page–let’s let people know we are here, alive, and moving forward!

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St Johns Snow

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